FJAH Police Contract Demands

Mayor Marty Walsh

Fjah_police_contract_demands

Families for Justice as Healing organizes to shift power and resources away from policing and incarceration and into Black and Brown communities to address systemic and racist abandonment, disinvestment, and criminalization. Residents are demanding healthcare, housing, treatment, education, arts, culture, community centers, community-led programming, and economic development through employment and cooperative business ownership.

To free up resources, the City of Boston must cut spending on policing, limit what police officers respond to in our communities, and reduce the size of the police force annually. Policing does not create safety in our communities; policing causes more harm.

Policing contract negotiations serve the interests of the police, not our communities. The terms of the agreement between the Mayor and the Boston Police Patrolman’s Association (BPPA) protect pay and pensions, shield police from accountability for violence and corruption, and enforce a system of strict seniority that consolidates wealth and power in officers who have been on the force the longest. This upholds the historic and ongoing structural racism that cannot be reformed in the Boston Police Department and Patrolmen’s Association.  

We are reimagining our communities. This BPPA contract will not achieve our vision of safety and well-being.

We need community-controlled processes to create thriving communities which requires reallocating and investing city resources - jobs, money, land, buildings, infrastructure - into our neighborhoods to create well-being and address the root causes of harm and heal from harm. The people who are most impacted by policing, incarceration, and gentrification must lead research, visioning, decision making, and implementation.  

On the way toward our long-term vision of reducing the force and then removing police from our communities, FJAH has constructed some immediate demands for this round of contract negotiations:


Cap the overtime individual officers can make. Overtime pay is an incentive for police, especially the most senior officers. Overtime spending is a normalized function of the police department. On average, BPD officers make 30.8% of their annual salary in overtime, with some officers working more than 60 or 70 hours per week (the equivalent of 2.5-3.75 double shifts). In at least two cases, officers earned overtime at more than 140% of their annual salary. Hiring more officers will not fix the problem and will not lead to more safety. If the city negotiated an overtime cap of 10% of officers’ base pay or enforced the existing ordinance mandating a 10% cap (Ordinance 6.1-12), and every person in the BPD made overtime equal to 10% of their annual salary, the city would save $52,488,876.86.


In order to free resources to reallocate back into communities the city must:

  • Cap overtime as a percentage of annual salary (10%)

  • Limit kinds of overtime (no overtime pay for basic job functions including: transporting people in custody, delivering drugs/evidence, appearing in court)


  1. Cap overall and overtime spending of the Boston Police Department so that the BPD cannot continue to exceed their budget allocation or receive additional money from discretionary funds and private funding. The current policing contract is a barrier realizing our community's demand to defund the police. The contract protects a strict seniority system and rates of pay including overtime that cause the Boston Police Department to exceed their budget every year. There is existing law (Section 17 of Chapter 190 of the Acts of 1982) that should prevent any department of the City from intentionally overspending what was authorized in the budget and prevent the city from entering into any contract that would require future payment beyond what's allocated in the budget – like this BPPA contract.

  2. Replace officer details with civilian details and reallocate the administrative positions that manage details to an office outside of the police department staffed by community members. Officer details drive up overtime costs and create an unnecessary police presence in our community during construction and community events. By prohibiting police from working construction and traffic details and moving administrative positions to Public Works in City Hall, we can redistribute high-paying public-sector jobs to residents and create a stepping stone into the construction industry. Hiring for details must prioritize people who have been most impacted by policing, people with CORIs, and formerly incarcerated people. Details staffed by residents who take pride in their own neighborhood and know their neighborhoods will enhance, not take away from, public safety.

  3. Require all police officers to wear a clearly marked standard uniform and badge with visible name and identification number. Specialty and notoriously violent policing units like the Youth Violence Strike Force (gang unit) are known for following people in unmarked cars and jumping out on residents wearing hoodies, hats, and sneakers. Wearing plain clothes is a perk for some of the most aggressive officers on the force and is intimidating, unprofessional, and dangerous for residents. Requiring officers to wear uniforms and visibly display badges is a measure of accountability so residents can recognize, identify, and report individual officers. This is a necessary step toward disbanding the most harmful and racist divisions of the BPPA.

  4. Reduce the number of officers on the force. More police on the street do not make our communities more safe. The cost of hiring more officers and then paying out lifetime pensions means millions of dollars every year that can’t be spent on what really creates safety and well-being: housing, education and economic development. By scaling back the size of the police force annually, we can begin to address the harm and trauma caused by generations of disproportionate policing and incarceration in Black and Brown neighborhoods. Black and Brown people can have the space to envision and implement what different looks like. We can also free up the resources to invest in community-led violence and harm reduction, prevention, intervention, and healing.


To limit the footprint of law enforcement, the city must:

  • Reduce minimum staffing levels

  • Restrict the deployment of “gang cars” (discretionary deployment)

  • Impose a hiring freeze on new officers

  • Limit the type of calls/emergencies that officers can respond to, including prohibiting police from responding to noise complaints, overdoses, domestic violence calls, mental health crises, calls to report people experiencing homelessness, calls about pets, and wellness checks

  • Prohibit 311 calls from being re-routed to the police department and responding to 311 calls

  • Identify job functions that can be shifted away from police officers and moved out of the BPD

To: Mayor Marty Walsh
From: [Your Name]

​Families for Justice as Healing organizes to shift power and resources away from policing and incarceration and into Black and Brown communities to address systemic and racist abandonment, disinvestment, and criminalization. Residents are demanding healthcare, housing, treatment, education, arts, culture, community centers, community-led programming, and economic development through employment and cooperative business ownership.

To free up resources, the City of Boston must cut spending on policing, limit what police officers respond to in our communities, and reduce the size of the police force annually. Policing does not create safety in our communities; policing causes more harm.

Policing contract negotiations serve the interests of the police, not our communities. The terms of the agreement between the Mayor and the Boston Police Patrolman’s Association (BPPA) protect pay and pensions, shield police from accountability for violence and corruption, and enforce a system of strict seniority that consolidates wealth and power in officers who have been on the force the longest. This upholds the historic and ongoing structural racism that cannot be reformed in the Boston Police Department and Patrolmen’s Association.

We are reimagining our communities. This BPPA contract will not achieve our vision of safety and well-being.

We need community-controlled processes to create thriving communities which requires reallocating and investing city resources - jobs, money, land, buildings, infrastructure - into our neighborhoods to create well-being and address the root causes of harm and heal from harm. The people who are most impacted by policing, incarceration, and gentrification must lead research, visioning, decision making, and implementation.

On the way toward our long-term vision of reducing the force and then removing police from our communities, FJAH has constructed some immediate demands for this round of contract negotiations:

Cap the overtime individual officers can make. Overtime pay is an incentive for police, especially the most senior officers. Overtime spending is a normalized function of the police department. On average, BPD officers make 30.8% of their annual salary in overtime, with some officers working more than 60 or 70 hours per week (the equivalent of 2.5-3.75 double shifts). In at least two cases, officers earned overtime at more than 140% of their annual salary. Hiring more officers will not fix the problem and will not lead to more safety. If the city negotiated an overtime cap of 10% of officers’ base pay or enforced the existing ordinance mandating a 10% cap (Ordinance 6.1-12), and every person in the BPD made overtime equal to 10% of their annual salary, the city would save $52,488,876.86.

In order to free resources to reallocate back into communities the city must:

Cap overtime as a percentage of annual salary (10%)

Limit kinds of overtime (no overtime pay for basic job functions including: transporting people in custody, delivering drugs/evidence, appearing in court)

Cap overall and overtime spending of the Boston Police Department so that the BPD cannot continue to exceed their budget allocation or receive additional money from discretionary funds and private funding. The current policing contract is a barrier realizing our community's demand to defund the police. The contract protects a strict seniority system and rates of pay including overtime that cause the Boston Police Department to exceed their budget every year. There is existing law (Section 17 of Chapter 190 of the Acts of 1982) that should prevent any department of the City from intentionally overspending what was authorized in the budget and prevent the city from entering into any contract that would require future payment beyond what's allocated in the budget – like this BPPA contract.

Replace officer details with civilian details and reallocate the administrative positions that manage details to an office outside of the police department staffed by community members. Officer details drive up overtime costs and create an unnecessary police presence in our community during construction and community events. By prohibiting police from working construction and traffic details and moving administrative positions to Public Works in City Hall, we can redistribute high-paying public-sector jobs to residents and create a stepping stone into the construction industry. Hiring for details must prioritize people who have been most impacted by policing, people with CORIs, and formerly incarcerated people. Details staffed by residents who take pride in their own neighborhood and know their neighborhoods will enhance, not take away from, public safety.

Require all police officers to wear a clearly marked standard uniform and badge with visible name and identification number. Specialty and notoriously violent policing units like the Youth Violence Strike Force (gang unit) are known for following people in unmarked cars and jumping out on residents wearing hoodies, hats, and sneakers. Wearing plain clothes is a perk for some of the most aggressive officers on the force and is intimidating, unprofessional, and dangerous for residents. Requiring officers to wear uniforms and visibly display badges is a measure of accountability so residents can recognize, identify, and report individual officers. This is a necessary step toward disbanding the most harmful and racist divisions of the BPPA.

Reduce the number of officers on the force. More police on the street do not make our communities more safe. The cost of hiring more officers and then paying out lifetime pensions means millions of dollars every year that can’t be spent on what really creates safety and well-being: housing, education and economic development. By scaling back the size of the police force annually, we can begin to address the harm and trauma caused by generations of disproportionate policing and incarceration in Black and Brown neighborhoods. Black and Brown people can have the space to envision and implement what different looks like. We can also free up the resources to invest in community-led violence and harm reduction, prevention, intervention, and healing.

To limit the footprint of law enforcement, the city must:

Reduce minimum staffing levels

Restrict the deployment of “gang cars” (discretionary deployment)

Impose a hiring freeze on new officers

Limit the type of calls/emergencies that officers can respond to, including prohibiting police from responding to noise complaints, overdoses, domestic violence calls, mental health crises, calls to report people experiencing homelessness, calls about pets, and wellness checks

Prohibit 311 calls from being re-routed to the police department and responding to 311 calls

Identify job functions that can be shifted away from police officers and moved out of the BPD